Litmag Roadmap: Ontario
Do you have your passport ready? This week we’re crossing the Canadian border on our trek finding the best local literary magazines!
After over a year of restrictions, the Canadian border has finally reopened to nonessential travel! Well, sort of. It’s complicated. What’s not complicated is the plethora of outstanding litmags published by our neighbors to the north. So, sharpen your hockey skates and fry up some beaver tails (the pastries, not the real thing!). We’re going to Ontario!
This ever evolving and adventurous journal recently transitioned to an all-digital platform. Marrying literature and art, Carousel has produced visually stunning and carefully curated publications twice a year since 1983. They pride themselves on delving into work across genres, capturing many moods and styles. A fun feature of the journal is Chain, an ongoing series of poems, each written in response to the previous entry. Submissions to Chain are always open. General submissions open in September.
No fusty New Englanders here, this independent Toronto based literary magazine has been publishing some of Canada’s finest literary talents for over a decade. Besides offering contemporary literature from writers in all stages of their careers, The Puritan is also a great source of interviews and reviews that dive deep into both Canadian and global literature. Submissions for the quarterly magazine are open year-round to writers anywhere in the world, and an annual fiction and poetry contest runs every fall.
Another independent Toronto based journal, untethered is a relatively new publication. However, its eye-catching design and quality writing coupled with some exceptional launch parties ensure many years of literary excellence lie ahead. They are seeking fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, and “those strange beings in between.”
A truly unique publication, Taddle Creek defines itself as “a general-interest literary magazine.” Beginning as a Christmas annual for a Toronto neighborhood, it has since expanded to a bi-annual print and web publication featuring vivid colors and a spunky beatnik mascot. This multi-award-winning magazine is meticulously designed and edited. Issues feature everything from fiction to comics, cultivating a style that is hard to pin down but always engaging.
The New Quarterly
For forty years, TNQ has been discovering and nurturing new voices in Canadian literature. Housed in St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, the journal prioritizes community engagement through frequent collaborations with fellow publications, as well as hosting the annual Wild Writers Literary Festival. In addition to fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, they also seek pieces discussing various aspects of writing life.
Since its founding in 1977, Brick has become Canada’s premier purveyor of literary nonfiction. The magazine has featured all-time greats such as Zadie Smith and John Irving, but they are always looking for new voices to promote. Published twice a year, submissions run from Sept.-Oct. and Mar.-Apr. for nonfiction in a variety of forms from essays to humorous letters. So long as a piece prizes the personal voice it can find a home among the pages of Brick.
Arc Poetry Magazine
This edgy, long running magazine is always looking for fresh voices in poetry. They publish two issues a year with submissions running Apr.-Jul. and Sept.-Dec. In addition to the sharpest, most incisive poetry they can get their hands on, Arc also features essays, interviews and articles on poetry, as well as running several contests a year.
In the first five years of its existence, Augur has created a fantastic home for all writing that is surreal, strange or otherwise indefinable. They believe that sometimes the best way to understand the world is to view it through a slightly cracked lens. The journal tends to lean toward more literary speculative fiction in the form of short stories, flash, and poetry, but is open to high fantasy and sci-fi so long as the narratives remain character driven.